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If you're planning to give your home a fresh coat of paint, it's essential to understand the proper timing between paint coats. Knowing how long to wait between the coats ensures the paint adheres well, dries evenly, and provides a long-lasting finish. As one of the leading professional painters in Hobart, we have compiled a guide on different types of paint, their drying times and factors that influence the waiting period between coats.                                                  

The Difference between Dry, Recoat, and Cure Times

Before we delve into the specifics, it's crucial to understand the difference between dry time, recoat time, and cure time.      

Dry Time

This refers to the duration it takes for the paint to dry to the touch. The surface may still be vulnerable to damage at this stage, so handling it with care is important.

Recoat Time

This is the minimum waiting period recommended before applying the next coat of paint. This time allows the previous coat to dry sufficiently and provides a suitable surface for the next coat to adhere properly.

Cure Time

This is the duration it takes for the paint to fully harden and reach its maximum durability. Depending on various factors, the paint may take several days or weeks to cure completely.

How Long to Wait Between Coats?    

The waiting period between coats of paint depends on several factors, including the type of paint, environmental conditions, and the finish. Professional painting services know the precise time they need to achieve the best results. But let us understand the drying time for different paint types in brief: 

Oil-based Paint Drying Time

Oil-based paints typically take longer to dry compared to water-based paints. The dry time for oil-based paint can range from 6 to 8 hours, and the recoat time is usually around 24 hours.

Water-based Paint Drying Time

Water-based paints, also known as latex paints, have a quicker drying time compared to oil-based paints. Depending on the brand and specific formulation, water-based paint can dry to the touch within 1 to 2 hours. Recoating can usually be done after 4 hours.

Flat Paint

Flat paint has a matte finish and is commonly used on walls and ceilings. It typically has a shorter drying time of around 1 to 2 hours and can be recoated after 2 to 4 hours.

Eggshell Paint

Eggshell paint has a slight sheen and is popular for its durability. The drying time for eggshell paint is similar to flat paint, around 1 to 2 hours, and recoating can be done after 2 to 4 hours.

Semi-gloss Paint

Semi-gloss paint provides a subtle shine and is often used in areas that require frequent cleanings, such as bathrooms and kitchens. It has a longer drying time of approximately 2 to 4 hours and can be recoated after 4 to 6 hours.

High-gloss Paint

High-gloss paint offers a highly reflective finish and is known for its durability and resistance to moisture. The drying time for high-gloss paint is similar to semi-gloss paint, around 2 to 4 hours, and it can be recoated after 4 to 6 hours.


Primer is the initial coating applied before the paint to improve adhesion, provide a uniform surface, and increase the paint's durability. Primer drying times vary depending on the type, but they usually dry within 30 minutes to 1 hour, allowing for recoating after 1 to 2 hours.

Other Factors Affecting the Waiting Period

In addition to paint type, several other factors can influence the time you should wait between coats of paint:

Thickness of Paint

Thicker coats of paint generally take longer to dry. It's important to follow the manufacturer's guidelines regarding the recommended thickness of each coat to ensure proper drying and adhesion.


Temperature has a significant effect on the drying time. Higher temperatures accelerate drying, while lower temperatures work oppositely. Ideally, the room temperature should be between 50°F (10°C) and 85°F (29°C) for optimal drying conditions.


High humidity levels can extend the drying time of the paint. Excess moisture in the air slows the evaporation of water-based paints, leading to prolonged drying times. If the humidity is above 70%, it's advisable to use dehumidifiers or wait for a drier day to paint.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Painters in Hobart 

Q: What happens if you apply a second coat of paint too soon?

A: Applying a second coat of paint too soon can result in poor adhesion, streaks, or the lifting of the underlying coat. It helps to consult professional painters in Hobart to understand recoat time for each type of paint.

Q: Are three coats of paint too much?

A: In most cases, two coats of paint are sufficient for achieving an even and consistent finish. 

However, there are instances where a third coat may be necessary, such as when covering a darker colour with a lighter one or when working with highly porous surfaces.

Q: How can you make the paint dry faster?

A: To speed up the drying process, ensure proper ventilation, maintain an ideal temperature, and lower humidity levels. Using fans or air movers can also help circulate air and facilitate faster drying. 

Q: Is one coat of paint enough to paint a wall?

A: While a single coat of paint can provide coverage, it may not offer the desired appearance or durability. Most professional painters in Hobart recommend applying at least two coats to achieve a more polished and long-lasting finish.

By considering the type of paint, environmental factors, and recoat guidelines, you can ensure optimal drying and achieve a flawless paint finish. For larger painting projects or if you're unsure about the process, it's always advisable to consult painting services, who can provide expert guidance and deliver exceptional results.

Get the Perfect Finish with Our Painters in Hobart 

Are you eager to transform your living space with a fresh coat of paint? Discover the secrets to achieving a flawless finish with Dyson Painters in Hobart. We are a long-established company offering personalized painting services to suit your requirements. From understanding paint types and drying times to considering factors like temperature and humidity, we've got you covered. 

If you are looking for the best-in-class service, trust our painters in Hobart to bring your vision to life. Connect with us and experience the art of precision and perfection.



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